Jonathan Davis

Jonathan Howsmon Davis (born January 18, 1971), also known as JD,[1] JDevil, or J Devil, is an American singer, songwriter, and musician. He is best known as the lead vocalist and frontman of nu metal band Korn, who are considered the pioneering act of the nu metal genre.[2][3] Davis' own distinctive personality and Korn's music influenced a generation of musicians and performers who have come after them.[2][4]

Jonathan Davis
Davis performing with Korn in 2018
Davis performing with Korn in 2018
Background information
Birth nameJonathan Howsmon Davis
Also known as
  • JD
  • JDevil
  • J Devil
Born (1971-01-18) January 18, 1971 (age 49)
Bakersfield, California, U.S.
Genres
Occupation(s)
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • musician
  • producer
Instruments
Years active1987–present
Labels
Associated acts
Websitekornofficial.com

Davis co-founded Korn in Los Angeles in 1993 with the dissolution of two bands, Sexart and L.A.P.D. He had led Sexart during his years as an assistant coroner. Davis rapidly gained notoriety for his intense and powerful live performances with Korn.[5] Anchored by his personal, passionate lyrics and unusual tenor vocals, Davis launched a successful career which has spanned almost three decades, although his popularity declined in the middle of the 2000s.[6] Davis' vocals, which alternate from an angry tone to a high-pitched voice, switching from sounding atmospheric to aggressively screaming, have been the trademark of Korn throughout the band's career.[7]

In 2000–2001, Davis and Richard Gibbs wrote and produced the score and soundtrack album of Queen of the Damned. He began his side project called Jonathan Davis and the SFA in 2007, and continued to experiment with musical styles. He released his first solo album in 2018. He has collaborated with various artists over the course of his career, ranging from metal to alternative rock, rap, world music and electronic music. Davis is a multi-instrumentalist musician who plays guitar, drums, bagpipes;[8] piano, upright bass, violin, and the clarinet.[9][10] He is also versatile in many genres, mixing tracks and performs DJ sets with his alter ego JDevil. For decades, Davis has been passionate about visual arts, horror films, comics, and video games.[8]

Fourteen of his albums reached the top 10 on the Billboard 200, including MTV Unplugged and Greatest Hits, Vol. 1.[11] In the U.S, he was awarded fifteen platinum album certifications by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). In Australia, he received eight platinum album certifications by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA), and in the UK he received six gold certifications. He won two Grammy Awards out of eight nominations throughout his career.[12] As of 2018, Davis has sold over 40 million albums worldwide.[13][14][15]

Early lifeEdit

Jonathan Howsmon Davis[16][17] was born in Bakersfield, California, on January 18, 1971, the son of Holly Marie (née Smith; May 6, 1949 - February 25, 2018) Chavez and Ricky Duane "Rick" Davis (born December 14, 1948). His parents married on February 27, 1970. He is of English, German, Scottish, and Welsh descent.[18][19] He has a sister, Alyssa Marie Davis (born February 8, 1974), a half-brother, Mark Chavez[20] (lead singer of Adema; born November 15, 1978), and a half-sister, Amanda Chavez (born July 31, 1981), by his mother.[21] His father was a keyboardist for Buck Owens and Frank Zappa, while his mother was a professional actress and dancer.[22] His parents divorced when he was three years old and he was raised by his father and former stepmother in Bakersfield.[22] Davis suffered severe bouts of asthma as a child,[23] which forced him to stay in the hospital every month from the age of 3 to the age of 10, and survived a near-fatal asthma attack when he was five years old.[24]

Davis has said that his earliest musical inspiration during his childhood was the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Jesus Christ Superstar,[25] as his mother was one of the dancers in the movie.[26] His interest in music was more stimulated when he discovered his synth-pop heroes, Duran Duran and the melodies of Simon LeBon who became his major influence.[27] He also grew up listening to '80s music such as Arcadia, Sigue Sigue Sputnik;[28] Bauhaus, Depeche Mode, Thompson Twins;[29] Missing Persons and Flock of Seagulls.[30] Upon listening to his favorite musical genre, Davis would later say, "I was a New Romantic! They even took me to the gay student's counselor just because I wore makeup".[29] He bought Mötley Crüe's album Shout At The Devil when he was in seventh grade, then found Ministry, Skinny Puppy, and "old goth stuff" like Christian Death.[31] Davis was first impressed with metal when he heard Vulgar Display of Power by Pantera,[25] he stated it was "the metal record that made me wanna do heavy music".[31] During adolescence, Davis played bagpipes on a regular basis.[32]

He attended Highland High School, however he was persistently harassed for wearing eyeliner, baggy clothes, and listening to new wave music.[29][33] He was constantly called homophobic names,[33] which later inspired the Korn song "Faget".[34] Davis' "HIV" tattoo on his upper left arm was also inspired by his experience of being bullied.[35] At the age of 16, Davis found employment as a coroner's assistant,[36] and after graduating high school immediately enrolled in the San Francisco college's one-year program.[36] He enjoyed his time in San Francisco, where he spent his days poring over embalming textbooks and his nights living and working in funeral homes.[36] Nevertheless, he dropped out after two semesters to apprentice at a mortuary closer to home, in the Kern County Coroner's Department and was also a professional embalmer for a funeral home.[36]

Davis commented in Kerrang! :

"I had post-traumatic stress from seeing dead babies, and young kids that had died after finding a parent's stash of drugs – shit that I shouldn't have been seeing at 16 or 17 years old. I had to have a lot of therapy to make the nightmares go away, but I got through it and it made me appreciate life a lot more."[37]

Davis also spoke of having a horrible relationship with his former stepmother.[38][39][40] He said she used to harass and torture him; she gave him tea mixed with Thai hot oil and jalapeño juice to drink when he was sick,[38] locked him in cabinets, and put cigarettes out on his arms.[39] Though she was later divorced by Davis' father, the Korn song "Kill You" was nonetheless written about her.[39][40] In an interview for The Guardian, Davis said he left home when he was 18 because he felt like "public enemy number one", since his stepmother—quoted as "twisted and sadistic"—hated him, and his own father was embarrassed by the situation.[41]

CareerEdit

Early careerEdit

Davis formed his first group with other members in a mysterious formation called Buck Naked,[42] of which only two songs were recorded on demo tapes and distributed to his friends in High School;[42] including New Wave-oriented song "What I Have Done", and a love song "Come With Me".[42][43] Davis, who worked by day in a mortuary,[2] got free haircuts at a college where guitarist Ryan Shuck was a student.[44] Davis agreed to join Shuck's group called Sexart, which was formed in 1991.[45] Davis described the experience, "I had no clue what I was doing, I didn't know what the hell to do with my voice".[44] Early in 1993, ex-band members of L.A.P.D. who had started a new group named Creep,[46] noticed Davis at The John Bryant club in Bakersfield,[47] and were overwhelmed by his performance with Sexart. [48] Subsequently, Davis who was already a friend of Reginald Arvizu, was reluctant to join Creep although he was flattered by the obstinacy of the musicians to integrate him into the group.[49] Nevertheless, he only made the decision to audition with Creep after meeting the psychic who told him that it would be beneficial for him to leave Bakersfield, move to Los Angeles and join them.[49][39] Davis left Sexart in his early 20s after a convincing rehearsal with the four Creep members, he commented: "I was a little torn, because I was doing Sexart at the time, and that was my band. But I wanted to go and see what it was all about, and from the first note I was hooked. It just all clicked."[50][51] Enticed by the prospect of a musical career, Davis resigned from his employment at Bakersfield judicial police, and moved to L.A. with his girlfriend to live with David Silveria and Brian Welch in the same house in Huntington Beach.[50] Davis proposed the idea of naming the band as 'Corn'—the spelling would be renamed right after as 'KoЯn'—in reference to the horror film Children of the Corn and a sexually explicit story from his gay friend.[52][53][54]

KornEdit

Solo careerEdit

Davis first began working on a solo album in 2007,[55][56] forming the group Jonathan Davis and the SFA (Simply Fucking Amazings). Although he released two live albums with the group,[57][58] no studio albums were completed and the band disbanded in 2014[56] after the death of guitarist Shane Gibson.[59][60]

In December 2017, Davis began announcing solo tour dates and festival appearances and the launch of his solo album planned for 2018,[61][62] which would mark Davis' first billed simply as Jonathan Davis.[61] He said of the album in a 2017 Louder Sound interview: "It's the Jonathan Davis And The SFA record, but JD SFA is no longer. Unfortunately, since Shane Gibson passed, that band's done and it can't be recreated. So this is J.D. right now".[61]

In January 2018, Davis released his first solo single, "What It Is".[63] On January 26, 2018, he released the music video for "What It Is", while the single was included on the movie's soundtrack for American Satan.[64] At that time, Davis said he was "a big fan" of science fiction movies such as Blade Runner and Dune, and noted being an admirer of Vangelis.[64] On May 25, 2018, he released his debut solo album, Black Labyrinth on Sumerian Records.[65][66] The beginning of the writing process of Black Labyrinth—whose thematic focuses on "religion, consumerism and apathy"—was initiated on the road, back in 2007.[67] Davis contributed mainly to the sound of the album, playing guitar, keys, and "anything else he could get his hands on to the record".[67]

On October 1, 2020, Davis released an alternate country version of "What It Is".[67]

Solo band members
  • Jonathan Davis – vocals
  • Chris Nix – guitar
  • Brian Allen – upright bass
  • Sven Martin – keyboards
  • Ray Luzier – drums
  • Emilio "Zef" China – violin, rhythm guitar, backing vocals

JDevilEdit

 
JDevil at I Love This City Festival, San Diego, 2012

JDevil is the EDM alter ego of Davis.[68][69] He has been DJing since 1987 while he was still in high school.[69] At 16, before he joined Korn, Davis started out as a DJ working for Pacific West Sound and spun at high school dances and parties on the weekends in Bakersfield.[69] At the time, his teachers were C-Minus, Choc, and Eric and Vidal.[69] He used to spin New York freestyle, Miami bass, old school hip hop, goth, and industrial.[70]

In 2009, he began to DJ again and he introduced JDevil to the world in 2011 at Infected Mushroom appearances.[71]

In 2012, JDevil collaborated with Sluggo and California producer Tyler Blue, and while touring, he started working on an EP and writing every night in the studio of his tour bus.[68] In March 2012 JDevil collaborated with Datsik and Infected Mushroom on a song called "Evilution", the tracks would appear on Datsik's debut album Vitamin D.[72][68] JDevil was one of the opening acts for Korn on their The Path of Totality Tour from November 2011 - July 2012 in North America and Europe.[73][74] While on a short break from touring with Korn in July 2012, JDevil had a short four-day club tour which consisted of The Junkyard in Nashua, New Hampshire, Pufferbellies Entertainment Complex in Hyannis, Massachusetts, Lizard Lounge in Dallas, Texas, and The Garden in El Paso, Texas.[75]

In July 2012, JDevil had signed on to perform at select Identity Festival dates throughout North America.[76] He only performed at two shows, Comcast Center (amphitheater) in Mansfield, Massachusetts and Jiffy Lube Live in Bristow, Virginia.[77][78]

In 2012, JDevil was supposed to open for Rob Zombie and Marilyn Manson on their Twins of Evil Tour at select dates in North America,[79] but had to drop out of the tour due to exhaustion.[80] Davis stated it was very important for him to evolve in different styles after two decades in Korn, he said in Rolling Stone: "It keeps me motivated. It keeps me being creative and not getting bored with music."[68] In October 2012, Davis released his EP with his new group called Killbot, the EDM collective including Sluggo and Tyler Blue.[81][82]

Other projectsEdit

 
Davis and Toby Wright, composing on the road for the Queen of the Damned film soundtrack backstage at Wembley Arena, London, 2000

In the early 2000s, while on tour, Davis was looking for artistic hobbies to satisfy his creative impulses and decided to team up with composer Richard Gibbs to write film soundtracks.[83] Shortly after, Warner Bros. asked them to work on the movie Queen of the Damned,[83] an adaptation of Anne Rice's third novel in The Vampire Chronicles and a sequel to the 1994 film Interview with the Vampire.[84][85] Ten songs will be composed by the two men, but only five have been kept.[86] These songs includes "System", "Redeemer", "Forsaken", "Slept So Long" and "Not Meant for Me" and sung by the band The Vampire Lestat in the movie.[87][88][85] While Davis' voice is heard performing the songs in the movie, contractual obligations kept his vocals from appearing on the soundtrack album released in 2002.[89][90] Aaliyah, who died during filming, was supposed to record a duet with Davis.[91][92]

In 2000, Davis created an original fighting game, Pop Scars, which pits popular musical personalities against each other in one-on-one combat.[93] Participants include members of Limp Bizkit, Staind, Marilyn Manson, and Korn itself.[93][94] Each celebrity has its own personality and sports character designs sketched by comic book artist Marty Emond, while stages feature environmental traps that impede opponents as they fight.[95] Pop Scars never made it past the early design stages, as Davis himself pulled the plug on the project in late 2004.[96]

In 2007, Davis has recorded original songs with Korn for the video games Haze.[97]

In 2011, Konami has hired Davis and Korn to compose the theme song to the video game Silent Hill: Downpour, which led to an online petition to stop the pairing.[98][99]

Cameo appearances and actingEdit

Davis and Korn voiced themselves in season 3 of South Park in the episode "Korn's Groovy Pirate Ghost Mystery",[100] which features them as characters inspired by the cartoon Scooby-Doo, driving a van similar to the Mystery Machine and trying to solve a mystery about pirate ghosts.[100]

Davis has also been featured in many other bands' music videos, sometimes with Korn and sometimes solo. He has appeared with Korn in the Limp Bizkit music videos for "Break Stuff" and "Faith".[101]

He has a cameo in Queen of the Damned as a ticket scalper.[102][103] Davis plays a minor role as Ricky, a crack dealer, in the film Seeing Other People.[104] Davis and the rest of Korn appeared in a 2005 episode of the comedy-drama television series Monk, titled "Mr. Monk Gets Stuck in Traffic".[105][106] Davis also has a role as a store clerk in the 2007 independent film The Still Life.[107]

In 2009, Davis collaborated with Infected Mushroom, appearing in the music video for their track "Smashing the Opponent".[108]

In 2012, JDevil appeared in the Datsik & Infected Mushroom music video for "Evilution", wearing black eye contacts and fake teeth.[72]

In August 2017, he voiced Succulentus in an episode of OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes titled "Know Your Mom". The character was based on Davis and a parody of Nu-Metal in general.[109]

In 2018, he also worked with the EDM group Skynd in their debut real crime song "Gary Heidnik", appearing in the music video for it as well.[110]

Military visitsEdit

In 2012, Davis began visiting United States Armed Forces stationed in Europe.[111] On March 16, 2012, Davis made his first visit to Ramstein Air Base, Germany where he visited with personnel assigned to the 86th Airlift Wing and Landstuhl Regional Medical Center.[112] The Explosive Ordnance Disposal personnel showed him how to operate the bomb disposal robot and how to render safe an improvised explosive device wearing a Bombsuit.[112] Firefighter personnel showed how to use the water cannon in the new Striker ARFF fire apparatus.[112] Readiness and Emergency Management personnel showed a variety of Chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) detection and protection equipment.[113] He also did a meet and greet signing autographs for the troops and their families at the AAFES Military Mall (Kaiserslautern Military Community Center).[112] He visited wounded warriors from all over the world at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center and the USO Wounded Warriors Center.[114][112]

On August 11, 2012, Davis made another trip to Ramstein Air Base,[115][116] Germany to visit with personnel assigned to the 86th Airlift Wing,[115][116] 37th Airlift Squadron,[115][116] and Landstuhl Regional Medical Center.[115][116] During this visit, he was able to get a tour of a C-130J, Hercules and Explosive Ordnance Disposal personnel demonstrated a "Hollywood shot" explosive and the destruction a small amount of explosive can do to a car.[117][118] Again, he visited the wounded warriors at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center and the USO Wounded Warriors Center.[119][118] A documentary of his experiences, "Wounded Warriors" was submitted to the 1st Annual GI Film Festival Hollywood,[116][118] and won Audience Choice Award on November 10, 2012.[120][121] As a result of these trips, once Barack Obama awarded Captain Florent Groberg the Medal of Honor, he mentioned how Davis visited Groberg in Germany, and joked that "I am not the lead singer from Korn".[122] While Davis had been a vocal critic of Obama,[123] he expressed shock at the mention, particularly as it was a compliment: "The President of the United States gave me props for being there for a Medal of Honor recipient. Groberg went through hell."[124]

Personal lifeEdit

FamilyEdit

Davis' childhood is a major influence on Korn lyrics—the song "Daddy" gave rise to a rumor that he was molested by his father, Rick Davis.[125] However, Jonathan has gone on record in many interviews saying he wrote the song about a female family friend who sexually abused him.[125] He said that when he tried to turn to his family as a child to tell them about the abuse, they shrugged it off and didn't believe him.[125][126]

Davis has been married twice. His first marriage was to his high school sweetheart Renee Perez.[127] They were married in 1998, they had one son named Nathan in 1995, and divorced in 2000.[128][39] Jonathan married Deven Davis in 2004. The couple have two sons, Pirate and Zeppelin.[129][130] He filed for divorce in October 2016, citing irreconcilable differences.[131] In 2018, a domestic violence restraining order was issued, blocking any child custody or visitation by Deven, whom Jonathan alleged was deep into drugs. Deven Davis died on August 17, 2018 at the age of 39 of an accidental overdose.[132][133]

Substance abuseEdit

Davis had a history of excessive methamphetamine[134][135] and alcohol consumption during the recording sessions of Korn and Life Is Peachy.[136] Subsequently, he recorded Follow the Leader under the influence of methamphetamine, cocaine and heavily reliant on alcohol, especially Jack Daniel's.[137][138] In an interview with The Ringer, Davis described the album's creation "fueled by cocaine, speed, and just constant gallons of Jack Daniel's".[137][138][a] Davis got himself off methamphetamine addiction and sober when he was 28, since August 22, 1998,[139] during the fall's inaugural Family Values Tour.[137] But sobriety has increased his anxiety and depression which co-occurred with his substance use, exacerbated by the death of his grandfather at that time.[137] During this period, from the late '90s to the early 2000s, Davis was put on suicide watch.[137] In 2010, he admitted that he missed his past vices, Davis said "I know if I did (take drugs), I would be dead and I want to be with my children. It's a deterrent".[140] In 2013, Davis was treated for Xanax addiction although he smoked marijuana until 2015.[139] In 2018, Davis stated in Forbes that he continues to struggle with chronic anxiety, depression and insomnia but has replaced drugs and alcohol with medication such as Prozac, Halcion, Benadryl, ZzzQuil, NyQuil, and Melatonin.[139]

Art and serial killers collectiblesEdit

In the early 2000s, Davis began collecting serial killer art and memorabilia, publicly displaying selected items while on the Ozzfest 2003 tour.[141] Some items owned by Davis includes the Volkswagen mass murderer Ted Bundy drove for the duration of his murder spree,[142][143] the "Pogo" and "Patches" clown outfits worn by serial killer John Wayne Gacy,[144][143] the 1928 confession letter from cannibal Albert Fish,[144][143] and original drawings by satanic serial murderer Richard Ramirez also known as the Night Stalker.[145][143]

In June 2001, the collector of criminal artifacts Arthur Rosenblatt was approached by Davis.[146] Rosenblatt told him of his plan to open a museum of artifacts related to the criminal justice system, which Rosenblatt suggested be named the Museum of Justice & Odditorium or MOJO Museum.[146][141] Therefore, Davis proposed to him to invest a significant sum of money with another investor.[146][147] In March 2003, Davis suggested funding the museum through a film or TV production.[146] Subsequently, Davis pulled out of the deal which fell apart, leading Rosenblatt to sue him twice;[147] Rosenblatt accused Davis for having spoken to the media in 2002 about his museum project with artist Joe Coleman, by naming it American Curiosities Museum when he should have used the names provided for in the contract.[146][148] In the lawsuit, Rosenblatt claimed that Davis and other partners have threatened his life on several occasions.[146] Nevertheless, in December 2005, Davis started selling off his serial killer memorabilia, claiming his desire to move away from this context, he stated: "I don't want that around my kids".[149] In 2006, the litigation was ultimately resolved successfully by Ed McPherson, Davis' attorney. Davis later denounced the items and got rid of them.[147]

Davis made an appearance in Oddities documentary, season 2, in the 4th episode named "Rock Star Embalmer", filmed at Manhattan's Obscura Antiques & Oddities. The episode aired on April 30, 2011 on Discovery Channel.[150][151]

Davis' home houses a private art collection that spans decades of touring the globe.[10] He has a considerable and diverse collection of works of macabre and dark art, such as a limited edition Ibanez guitar designed by H.R. Giger that looks the same as his mic stand, a human shrunken head from South America and a human foetus, called 'Luther'.[10] His art collection includes religious art from all over the world and a variety of religions, such as 600 years old Buddhist sculptures and owns "tons of crucifixes", especially Mexican Jesus—"I wouldn't say I like religion, but I like the art", reaffirms Davis.[10] He has also developed an interest in collection of taxidermy art.[150][10] In 2015 during an interview with Gavin Lloyd for Metal Hammer he said "the taxidermy I got on the walls, I got when we were touring in South Africa. I hired a guide, stalked those animals, shot both of them and donated the meat, which fed families for months. [ ... ] I had to wait a year to get those heads back from Africa, but they're top notch, they're amazing."[10]

Political viewsEdit

In 2006, Davis explained his political views, saying, "I'm political to a point where it affects human life, from global warming to abortion issues to my gun rights", but expressed no interest in issues like taxation, saying, "I don't really care. Obviously even going out and voting doesn't really count, it's all based down to these Electoral College votes."[152] Davis has expressed support for same-sex marriage and transgender people.[153]

Davis has expressed support for libertarian Republican Party candidates Ron Paul[154][155] and Rand Paul.[155] Davis once described Barack Obama as an "Illuminati puppet"[154] and told Billboard that Obama had "basically dragged this country down into the worst it's ever been."[156] In 2014, Davis said that the United States was becoming a "police state".[157]

Vocal abilityEdit

Davis is a tenor[158][159][160] with a vocal range of 4 octaves and 4 notes (from A 1 to E 6).[161] The vocal analysis of The Range Place website has a propensity to lower his higher register (from A1 to F5).[b][158] In 2014, Davis appeared on the VVN Music's list of "the vocalists with the largest range".[161][163] According to the vocal range data curated by The Range Place,

His bizarre and esoteric vocal styles are definitely one of the main trademarks of the band, ranging from a gruff distorted sound to an odd dissonant scat as well as a lesser used soft headier sound. Earlier on, he used his more distorted tone almost exclusively for highs, however later on around the time of See You on the Other Side he began demonstrating an ability to use more a cleaner which he can take to the lower fifth octave. His low range is fairly melodic down to at least F2/E2, with lower notes being more in the so-called "attitude fry" style, often used for a creepier or more intimidating effect. Davis' voice is definitely a factor in what most consider to make or break Korn's music for them, however he is definitely a unique staple of the 90s and modern rock scene.[158]

Describing a live performance in Portland, Robert Ham of Billboard stated that "not enough can be said about the versatility of Davis' voice, as he explored all the different timbres at his disposal throughout the night. He growled, crooned and wailed with equal amounts of steady force".[164] The Rough Guide to Rock writer Essi Berelian described Davis' singing voice: his "unusual style varied between singing, half-rapping and breathless shrieking".[2] Davis is renowned for his guttural—scat singing breakdowns;[165] author Christopher Krovatin wrote that "no aspect of Jonathan's vocals are more widely recognized that his babbled nonsense words reminiscent of the scat vocals used by classic jazz musicians like Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald and Benjamin "Scatman" Crothers".[165]

BagpipesEdit

Davis was fully introduced in pipe band music during his youth, which prefigured later Korn's signature sound.[28][166] His great-grandmother was from Scotland and played pipe records all the time, and accordingly he wished to learn how to play it.[28][166] Davis was also inspired to play the bagpipes by Star Trek 1982's, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, as Mr. Scott played "Amazing Grace" on the Great Highland bagpipes at the funeral of Mr. Spock, the melancholic sound enigmatically captivated him.[28] In a Loudwire interview, Davis described this moment while watching the film, "everybody tears up, and I'm like...I gotta play bagpipes".[28][167]

 
Davis' bagpipes backstage during the Issues Tour at The Labatt's, Apollo, Manchester, England, 2000

Davis' enthusiasm led his grandmother to give him his first set of bagpipes, then he began by joining the Highland High School pipe band, and taking lessons from the band's Scottish conductor.[166] Shortly afterwards he went to a qualified teacher, who went to Scotland and learned.[166] Davis started competing after that, across the United States at established gigs.[166] When the band were ready to record their first album of original material, they realized that something was missing during the recording of the song "Shoots and Ladders".[168] What had begun as "a joke" turned out to be nothing less than an atypical element in the song,[168] and would eventually become the first Korn song to feature a Highland bagpipe.[c][170]

Of Davis' composition with Korn, Kelsey Chapstick commented in Revolver Magazine,

"The bagpipe intro to 'Shoots and Ladders' was captured with Davis playing outside the studio, walking away from the mic [ ... ] While the bagpipe wails that open the song might like they were recorded on top of a mountain, Davis actually played them while walking past the back door of the studio while the microphone stayed stationary, giving the impression of a faraway player fading into the distance."[171]

Davis does not want to make prominent use of the woodwind instrument and avoids constantly incorporating it into his songs, he clarified, "it depends the song, if I'm feeling like there's a spot where I could use it".[28] Korn's repertoire containing Davis' bagpipes includes, "Shoots and Ladders", "Lowrider" the War cover from Life is Peachy.[172] Bagpipes are also heard on "My Gift To You", "Dead", "Let's Do This Now", "10 or a 2-Way", "Open Up", "Liar", "Seen It All", "I Wil Protect You", "Lead The Parade", "Spike In My Veins", "Bleeding Out", and "The End Begins".[173] On November 15, 1999, at the Apollo Theater concert, the NYPD Pipes and Drums corps opened the show with "Dead".[174] On July 23, 1999, Davis performed his bagpipe routine in front of more than 250,000 attendees during the Korn concert at the Woodstock Festival in New York in a long weekend of anarchy and uproar.[175]

EquipmentEdit

 
Davis using "The Bitch", August 2012

Four months before the release of Untouchables, in March 2002, during a South America tour,[176] Davis unveiled a microphone stand art piece named "The Bitch",[176] which was created and conceptualized by Swiss artist H.R. Giger.[176][177] Davis being a fan of Giger's work,[178] the initial idea of a special microphone stand was suggested to him by his personal assistant Jonathan Pavesi.[178] Then, Davis contacted Giger and was pleased when the Swiss artist accepted a commission to come up with a design for the mic stand.[179] He asked Giger for a microphone stand that was both "biomechanical and very erotic", giving him complete freedom of design.[179] In 2000, during the European Issues tour, Davis visited the H.R. Giger Museum in Switzerland. The more they discussed his drawings, the more time passed, and the figure became thinner more and more.[179] H.R. Giger and his assistant Roni emailed photos of the progress to the United States, during this process Davis gave his approval and asked him for some minor adjustments, so he could grab it more easily for his live performances.[179] Giger said that Davis' only concern was that it had been "totally functional and as movable as possible".[180] Only five bio-mechanical mic stands cast in the shape of a woman were manufactured at a foundry in Zurich, from molds that were then destroyed, adding to their historic allure and value.[179][181] Davis had received three of the bio-mechanical microphone stands, Giger kept the other two for permanent display at the H.R. Giger Museum and another for his gallery exhibitions.[181][182]

"He had sculpted it out of clay, he sculpted the whole thing by hand, and as soon as I saw it I just fell in love with it. It was such an amazing experience. [...] His influence is felt in the music. Korn's music is very dark and his art was dark, the two elements complement each other so well. You can't help but be inspired by someone that creative and with such a dark imagination. I don't know what else to say man, he was just a genius."

— Jonathan Davis, speaking of H.R. Giger in Louder Sound.[183]

Davis has been sponsored by Shure microphones since the mid 1990s and has used them for live performances since. He has used wireless KSM9 and KSM8 models in recent years.[184][185] Davis uses a variety of microphones in the studio including the Telefunken U47 and ELA M 251.[186]

DiscographyEdit

AlbumsEdit

Korn
Jonathan Davis and the SFA
Killbot
  • Sound Surgery (2012)
Solo

SinglesEdit

As lead artistEdit

List of singles, with selected chart positions, showing year released and album name
Title Year Peak chart positions Album
US
Dance

[187]
US
Main.
Rock

[188]
US
Rock

[189]
US
Rock
Air.

[190]
"Careless"[191] 2007 Non-album singles
"Got Money"
(featuring Jim Root)
2008 41
"Silent Hill"[192] 2012 Silent Hill: Downpour soundtrack
"What It Is"[193] 2018 5 47 21 Black Labyrinth
"Everyone"[194]
"Basic Needs" 19
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

As featured artistEdit

List of singles, with selected chart positions, showing year released and album name
Title Year Peak chart positions Album
US
Main.
Rock

[188]
US
R&B

[195]
US
Rap

[195]
"Year 2000"
(Xzibit featuring Jonathan Davis)
2000 76 28 Black and White soundtrack
"Smashing the Opponent"[196]
(Infected Mushroom featuring Jonathan Davis)
2009 Legend of the Black Shawarma
"The Enabler"[197]
(Chuck Mosley featuring Jonathan Davis and John 5)
Will Rap Over Hard Rock for Food
"Evilution"[198]
(Datsik and Infected Mushroom featuring Jonathan Davis)
2012 Vitamin D
"Wake Up!"
(Islander featuring Jonathan Davis)
2017 Non-album single
"Necessary Evil"
(Motionless in White featuring Jonathan Davis)
29 Graveyard Shift
"Gary Heidnik"
(SKYND featuring Jonathan Davis)
2018 Chapter 1
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Promotional singlesEdit

List of promotional singles, showing year released and album name
Title Year Album
"Justice" (Remix)
(Rev Theory featuring Jonathan Davis)
2011 Justice

Other appearancesEdit

Guest appearancesEdit

List of non-single guest appearances, showing year released and album name
Title Year Album
"This Town"[199]
(Human Waste Project featuring Jonathan Davis)
1994 E-lux First Demo
"Lookaway"[200]
(Sepultura featuring Jonathan Davis, Mike Patton and DJ Lethal)
1996 Roots
"Sleepy Hollow"[201]
(Deadsy featuring Jonathan Davis)
Deadsy
"Revival"[202]
(Orgy featuring Jonathan Davis)
1998 Candyass
"Ty Jonathan Down"[203]
(Videodrone featuring Jonathan Davis)
1999 Videodrone
"Nobody Like You"[204]
(Limp Bizkit featuring Scott Weiland and Jonathan Davis)
Significant Other
"End of Time"[205]
(Q-Tip featuring Jonathan Davis)
Amplified
"Take It Back"[206]
(Snot featuring Jonathan Davis)
2000 Strait Up
"Just for Now"[207]
(Fieldy's Dreams featuring Jonathan Davis)
2002 Rock'n Roll Gangster
"1stp Klosr"[208]
(Linkin Park featuring Jonathan Davis and The Humble Brothers)
Reanimation
"Love on the Rocks"[209] 2003 Wonderland soundtrack
"Cut Throat"[210]
(Marz featuring Jonathan Davis)
2004 Gorilla Pimpin'
"Witness the Addiction"[211]
(Suicide Silence featuring Jonathan Davis)
2011 The Black Crown
"Silent So Long"[212]
(Emigrate featuring Jonathan Davis)
2014 Silent So Long
"It's Time to Get Weird"[213]
(Sunflower Dead featuring Jonathan Davis)
2015 It's Time to Get Weird
"Starting to Turn"[214]
(Tech N9ne featuring Jonathan Davis)
2016 The Storm
"Whatever Goes Up"
(Bone Thugs featuring Jonathan Davis)
2017 New Waves

Remix workEdit

List of remix work for other artists, showing year released and album name
Title Year Other artist(s) Album
"Hear Me Now" (Jonathan Davis Remix)[215] 2011 Hollywood Undead American Tragedy Redux
"Thunder Kiss '65" (JDevil Number of the Beast Remix)[216] 2012 Rob Zombie Mondo Sex Head
"The Kids Will Have Their Say" (JDevil Catholic Nun Remix)[217] Steve Aoki, Sick Boy The Kids Will Have Their Say EP
"Bug Party" (JDevil Catholic Nun Remix) Huoratron Non-album song

NotesEdit

  1. ^ The liquor bill for the three months of Follow the Leader recording sessions topped out at $60,000 in the amount of beer, and estimated at 2,000 bottles of Jack Daniel's.[138]
  2. ^ The Range Place has been mentioned in USA Today, The Telegraph and Time.[162]
  3. ^ Following the release of Korn 's self titled debut album—recorded with his bagpipe trophies by his side—the singer would have two credits after his name in magazines: Jonathan Davis-Vocals & Bagpipes, also: Jonathan Davis-Vocalist/Bagpiper.[169][168]

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